Putin turns to Lukashenko as Belarusian dictator agrees to join forces on war in Ukraine | Politics | News

This was said by the Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko Belarus and Russia will deploy a joint military task force in response to what he called a worsening of tension on the country’s western borders, the state-run Belta news agency reported Monday. Sir. Lukashenko said the two countries would deploy a regional military group and had begun pulling forces together two days ago, apparently after the explosion on Russia’s bridge to Crimea.

Russian forces used Belarus as a staging post for their February 24 invasion of Ukraine, sending troops and equipment into northern Ukraine from bases in Belarus.

It comes as Russia hit cities across Ukraine during rush hour on Monday morning, killing civilians and destroying infrastructure in apparent revenge after President Vladimir Putin declared an explosion on the bridge to Crimea a terrorist attack.

Cruise missiles tore into busy intersections, parks and tourist spots in downtown Kyiv, with an intensity not seen even when Russian forces tried to capture the capital early in the war.

Explosions were also reported in Lviv, Ternopil and Zhytomyr in western Ukraine, Dnipro and Kremenchuk in central Ukraine, Zaporizhzhia in the south and Kharkiv in the east.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said the rush-hour attacks appeared to be deliberately timed to kill people.

In Kiev, the body of a man in jeans lay on a street at a major intersection, surrounded by burning cars. In a park, a soldier cut through the clothes of a woman lying in the grass to try to treat her wounds. Two other women were bleeding nearby.

A large crater gaped next to a playground in a central Kyiv park. The remains of an apparent missile were buried and smoldering in the mud.

More missiles hit the capital again later in the morning. Pedestrians huddled for shelter at the entrance to subway stations and inside parking garages.

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He later said the strikes had two main targets: energy infrastructure and people.

“Such a time and such targets were specially chosen to cause as much damage as possible.”

There was no immediate word from Moscow on what the target was. Russia denies deliberately targeting civilians.

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